Hello everyone and nice to meet you. My name is Shigeki Matsuura, and I am the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Japan, which launches today. The Huffington Post, one of the largest news sites in the world, has expanded globally to England, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, and now Japan, our seventh country -- and our first site in Asia.
What sets HuffPost apart from conventional news sources is a commitment to fostering a positive exchange of ideas by users, with the site's news and blogs as a foundation. Every month in America, 46 million users submit more than eight million comments on HuffPost stories. In the new Japanese edition of HuffPost, we too want to promote active communication through user comments and blog posts as much as possible.
As part of its launch, HuffPost Japan is particularly interested in promoting the voice of the "Dankai Juniors," the children of Japan's baby boomers. I was born in 1974 myself, and am a part of this generation. When I think of the people in my age group, I can't help but think of a problem facing us in the Japanese media: regardless of how much of the population we make up, our voices are not being heard; and perhaps what is being heard is simply not getting through.
Ten years from now, when we have reached the age where our societal responsibilities have are more significant than they are now, how will we be able to create a better society for Japan? HuffPost Japan would like to be the space where we have an open and honest debate on our future. That is why our editorial staff is primarily made up of the "Dankai Juniors." We believe that in order to reach the hearts of the readers, our editors should be personally connected to those issues.
Our goal is for you, the users, and us, the editors, to work together to build HuffPost Japan into a new social news platform that addresses Japan's next generation.
Also, as editor-in-chief of HuffPost Japan, I would like to express a personal mission of my own: to communicate the rich culture of Japan to the world. Right now, due to an aging society and low birth rates, Japan's population is decreasing sharply. Various strategies are in place to counteract the trend, but if they don't work, our culture and traditions will be at risk. Japan does not only export anime and electronics. We offer the world cultural gems like kabuki, bunraku, sumo wrestling and our world-renowned national cuisine -- things that are thought of as what constitutes "the face of Japan." We aim to delve into Japan's diverse culture, including the rich traditional knowledge and skills that are the backbone of these art forms, and become a place to deepen both the domestic and foreign understanding of Japanese culture.
Finally, I would like to state our mission one more time: The Huffington Post Japan hopes to be the place where we have an honest conversation about the future of Japan, and our editors will work to bring your voices and ideas onto our pages to achieve this. We look forward to working with all of you.